How to Locate the Routing and Account Number on a Check

By Jackie Lam · May 20, 2024 · 4 minute read

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How to Locate the Routing and Account Number on a Check

When setting up direct deposits, making electronic payments, or verifying your account for certain services, you typically need to provide your routing and account numbers. These numbers are crucial for identifying which bank and specific account to draw funds from or deposit money into.

If you’re unsure where to find these numbers on your check, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick guide to finding your account number and routing number on a check.

Key Points

•   The routing number is a unique nine-digit code found at the bottom left-hand corner of a check.

•   This number identifies the bank where the account is held.

•   The account number, typically eight to 12 digits long, is located to the right of the routing number on a check.

•   Account numbers are specific to individual bank accounts and are used for transactions.

•   Routing numbers can be found using various methods if no physical check is available, such as online banking, bank statements, or customer service.

Where Is the Routing Number on a Check?

The routing number on a check is a unique, nine-digit number that identifies the bank where your account is held. It’s typically located at the bottom left-hand corner of your check.

Look for a series of numbers printed along the bottom of you check. The routing number is usually the first set of numbers; it’s followed by your account number, and then the check number. The routing number will typically start with a 0, 1, 2, or 3. The symbols around the nine-digit number are not part of your routing number.

Some large financial institutions have multiple routing numbers to identify the state or area where your account is held. Banks also can have separate routing numbers for different types of transactions — such as one for processing paper checks and another for wire transfers.

Routing numbers are public, so you can also find this information on a bank’s website or by doing an internet search (more on this below).

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Where Is the Account Number on a Check?

On a check, the account number is typically located to the right of the routing number. It’s usually eight to 12 digits (though it can be longer) and may be followed by the check number.

Your account number is specific to your bank account and is used for transactions related to your account. If you have multiple accounts with the same bank, the account numbers will differ for each account.

The main purpose of an account number is to signal to the bank that’s processing the check which bank account to draw the funds from or, in the case of direct deposit, which account to deposit the money into.

Unlike routing numbers, bank account numbers aren’t public. If you don’t have a check handy, you can find your account number by logging into your account online or through your banking app. You may see something like this: XXXX-XXX-4567. Banks do this for privacy purposes (in case you’re accessing your account in a public place) but you can typically get the full account number by clicking on the partially hidden number. Your bank account number is also likely on your monthly statements.

Finding a Routing Number Without a Check

If you need to know your routing number but don’t have a physical check handy, don’t stress. Since a bank’s routing number is public information, there are several other easy ways to get it. Depending on the bank, you can typically find your routing number using one of these methods:

•   Log in to your account. Once you sign in to your account, go to “account information” or “account summary.” The routing number should be listed there.

•   Go to the bank’s website. Some banks post the routing number on the home page of their website. Or, they’ll put it elsewhere on the site, such as the FAQs.

•   Google it. You can do an online search of your bank’s name and the phrase “routing number.”

•   Check your bank statement. Some, though not all, banks will include the routing number on your monthly paper or electronic bank statements.

•   Call the bank. A customer service rep will be able to give you the bank’s routing number.

•   Visit a branch. Some banks display the routing number in the lobby. If not, you can simply ask a teller to give it to you.

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The Takeaway

Knowing where to find your routing and account numbers on a check is important for a variety of financial transactions. By familiarizing yourself with these numbers and how to locate them, you’ll be better equipped to manage your finances and complete transactions efficiently.

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Photo credit: iStock/Rockaa

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